Kara Brogan realized pretty quickly that having only 1 location of her business was not going to cut it. With a background in Occupational Therapy, Kara bought Galvin Therapy Center in 2017. In the two short years that she has been leading the center, she has doubled the size to now include 2 locations, one on the east side and one on the west side of Cleveland. Galvin Therapy Center is one of the only private practices in Ohio capable of helping children with combined diagnostic challenges. Located in both Warrensville Heights and Avon, Galvin is all about providing activities in an environment designed to achieve success by meeting children where they are! They offer an array of different services:
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech-language Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
- Behavior Management
- Mealtime Management
- Academic Intervention and,
- Early start autism program
- Galvin offers flexible hours and they are in-network with most providers.
Below, we spoke to Kara about why she decided to buy the business, what it’s like to be a working mompreneur and how she does it all!! Enjoy!
Please tell us about yourself!
I am originally from Hudson, OH, but we have lived in the Heights are for 15 years and recently bought a home in Shaker Heights. I went to Xavier University and I currently am an Occupational Therapist and Owner of Galvin Therapy Center location in Warrensville Heights and Avon! We have two children, a girl and a boy. I am an only child and am fortunate to have my parents nearby and we enjoy spending time with them as well as with my husband’s family – he grew up in a large family which makes it fun for our kids since they have so many cousins! I love to read and listen to podcasts – I don’t have much free time to do either at the moment, but try to sneak one in here and there when walking the dog or traveling. I have started some new training that takes me to Colorado which I absolutely love – both the learning and the beautiful scenery. My happy place is anywhere near the water with a good book and glass of wine!
What’s your favorite things about NE Ohio?
I love everything about NE Ohio, but probably the best part of the area are the incredible people.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I lived in Ireland for a year
Please tell us how you started your own business and grew it into multiple locations?
I purchased an existing practice from the retiring owner in January of 2017 and we’ve since managed to double the size – we recognized that the location on the East side might not be convenient and given our goal of helping as many kids in Northeast Ohio as possible, we decided to take the leap and open our Avon location earlier this year.
What is the biggest resource you have used to help make your business successful?
I used to be nervous about networking but it’s been the single most helpful thing in getting connected to the right people. For example, my friend’s husband helped connect me to a bank and get the business loan, our other friend helped us review the financials before we purchased the business. People are generally very happy to help and I’ve been so very fortunate that we are surrounded by genuinely kind and (smart!) friends!
How do you juggle being a mom and a business owner?
We involve the whole family in the business and at home. Now that my kids are a little older, they are able to help with work and home. For example, my 14 year old daughter helps out with making things for the children that they can take home and heat up and use as a soothing heating pad.
Where do you hope to be, both professionally and personally?
In 10 years, it’s hard to imagine, but we won’t have any kid at home! So I’d like to expand the business to four locations.
What’s the best payoff about owning your own business?
I still get to do the work that I love but I’m now developing other skills such as managing people, etc. It’s scary to feel like it all falls on your shoulders, but at the same time the opportunities to grow, learn and help others are exciting and energizing.
Advice or resources for someone who wants to open their own business?
Don’t be afraid to seek help from those around you, look at resources for small business such as loans, networking events and supportive organizations like COSE.
How are you involved in the community?
In addition to my day to day responsibilities at Galvin and spending time with family and friends, I am also a board member at Ruffing Montessori School. At Galvin, we also partner with many like-minded organizations as I believe strongly in supporting other people who are also trying to do this type of work. Some of the causes and organizations we support are the Autism Walk, Autism Speaks, Upside of Downs, Milestones Autism Resources and Connecting for Kids.
How do you rely on the women of NE Ohio?
I have a strong network of female friends who I rely on heavily for everything from parenting advice, business tips (many of them also own their own businesses which is great) and most importantly time together to laugh and unwind.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Starting out as an Occupational Therapist, I had always dreamed of owning my own business and it’s almost surreal that it’s actually happened. To do what I love – helping children – at a place that I love – Galvin Therapy and now to be able to call it my own has been a true dream come true.
What was your biggest failure?
That I am one capstone project away from completing my graduate degree. I started the program when I was working at a school district and left to pursue my career at Galvin. The capstone project actually needed to be completed at a school, so my access to do that became limited.
What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?
I am most passionate about ensuring that the children and families we provide services to are heard and felt cared for – emotionally and physically.
If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
It sounds very pragmatic, but start saving right away and live within your means.
Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?
Trust your intuition – you know your child best and if you sense something is off or are worried about something, seek help early.
Is there anyone special that you would like to thank that has helped you with being a working mom?
I would like to thank my two friends Amy and Tracie – I’ve learned so much from them both and we continue to support each other through thick and thin!
Call to schedule a tour at one of our centers, please call: 216-514-1600. We are located on the Eastside in Warrensville Heights and on the Westside in Avon. For more information about Galvin Therapy Center, check out our website and blog at: www.galvintherapycenter.com/blog/ you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram!
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